Crucial link in shared pathway network officially opened

Minister of Transport, Hon. Phil Twyford today officially opened Whanganui’s 2.3 kilometre long Te Tuaiwi shared pathway, which runs from Whanganui Intermediate School to Whanganui City Bridge connecting Taupō Quay to London Street via St Hill Street and the central rail corridor.

A shared pathway is a route designated for shared use by people who are walking, cycling, scootering, skating or using mobility aids.

Whanganui Mayor Hamish McDouall says, “The pathway is named Te Tuaiwi or ‘the spine’ because it’s a central structure in Whanganui’s shared pathway network.

“Te Tuaiwi establishes a crucial link between two of our shared pathways, providing thousands of young people who live in the vicinity of Whanganui Intermediate, Whanganui City College and Whanganui Collegiate with a safer route to school.

“People of all ages can take this direct route through town, avoiding busy intersections, driveways and parking spaces,” says Mayor McDouall.

Most of the shared pathways funding comes from the New Zealand Transport Agency’s Urban Cycleways Fund and the Government’s National Land Transport Fund.

Mayor McDouall says, “This is a great example of Whanganui District Council working with central government to put in infrastructure that improves our city’s liveability and generates positive health outcomes for our community.”

The Council’s Senior Roading Engineer, Brent Holmes, says the shared pathway network is part of the Council’s Active Transport Strategy which aims to create a cycle-friendly district that provides healthy and sustainable travel choices for commuting to everyone.

It’s very satisfying to have another section of Whanganui’s shared pathway network completed.

“Early next year we will move onto the Whanganui East (Kowhai Park to Georgetti Road) and London Street (Fergusson Street to rail corridor) sections,” says Brent Holmes.

KiwiRail Executive General Manager Operations Siva Sivapakkiam says KiwiRail has worked closely with Whanganui District Council on the design and construction of this shared pathway, as the majority travels along rail land.

“While the shared pathway is separated from the rail corridor by a 1.2 metre high fence, we want to remind everyone to be vigilant when near trains or railway lines, whether you are driving a vehicle, riding your bike or on foot.

“Check both ways before crossing and only cross at a proper crossing; trains can approach faster than you think and cannot stop quickly,” says Siva Sivapakkiam.

See related article on The Whanganui Chronicle